Archives for February 2011

Mundane! Mainstream! Commonplace! Typical!

Authors have little control over how their books for a general audience are marketed. But I wish to offer a few comments on what readers should think when they see publicity materials for a new book that is “explosive,” “earth-shattering,” “thoroughly original,” “unprecedented,” “provocative” and/or “turning everything we thought we knew about X completely upside-down.” [Read More…]

Keeping Your Options Open: Bart Ehrman, Fundamentalism and Orthodoxy

Like a Child has posted on Bart Ehrman. In addition to links to here and to Bob Cargill’s recent post, and adding some of her own thoughts and reflections, she links to a video of a conversation between Bart Ehrman and another former fundamentalist. This one, however, ended up in Eastern Orthodoxy rather than agnosticism. [Read More…]

Scholarship and Science, Skepticism and Consensus

Several posts with interconnected points and themes have come to my attention. One, an article by John Beddington in New Scientist magazine, seeks to explain the relationship between consensus, skepticism, and peer review. It is worth reading the whole thing, but here is a sample to whet your appetite: Let’s return to what science actually is: [Read More…]

More on What Biblical Studies Professors Teach at Peje Iesous

Continuing some inter-blog interaction, Christopher Skinner has posted a follow-up to his previous post, in which he explores further the subject of what Biblical scholars teach, touching in the process on matters such as objectivity and the impossibility of a “view from nowhere.” [Read more…]

Mandaean Ginza Rba Text and Concordance Online

Via the Mandaean Gnosticism blog, I learned that in addition to numerous other Mandaean texts, the Ginza Rba is online (in both Mandaic script and transliteration, and now it also has a Google site), and what’s more, now so too is the searchable concordance to the Ginza Rba. [Read more…]

Jesus, Birth Stories (x2) and Stone-Casting (x2) Around the Blogosphere

Joel Watts shared the illustration below (although he doesn’t think they got the “real Jesus” quite right). Doug Chaplin also discusses the story about “casting the first stone.” John Byron criticizes Darrell Bock’s attempt to minimize the historical problems in Luke’s mention of the census under Quirinius in his infancy story. Don Rogers explains why [Read More…]

The Best of all Possible “The Best of All Possible Worlds”

Today we begin discussing Voltaire’s Candide in my “Faith, Doubt and Reason” class. Here’s quite possibly the best of all possible renditions available on YouTube of “The Best of All Possible Worlds” from Leonard Bernstein’s Candide – one performed by characters from World of Warcraft!: [Read more…]

The End of the (Mythicist) Age

In an attempt to make mythicism seem more plausible, some mythicists attempt to push the time in which the (purely celestial/mythical) activity of Jesus is set back in time, away from the time of Paul, so that the latter would not be in a position to know whether Jesus was a real, historical human being [Read More…]

Mark’s Missing Ending: Article in The Bible and Interpretation

An article I wrote has been published by The Bible and Interpretation. The title is “Mark’s Missing Ending: Clues from the Gospel of John and the Gospel of Peter.“ [Read more…]

Approaching the Bible Academically (not just in the Academy)

Christopher Skinner shares an experience of interacting with a colleague who doesn’t think that personal faith and critical study of the Bible can be kept separate. I would comment that, even if the colleague is right, to be unable to separate the two need not mean that one’s faith tradition is allowed to override critical/academic [Read More…]